Tuesday, 5 January 2010

OCAsional Update 5) My Lovin' Spoonful

Here's something to make the medicine go down - a spoonful of oca seeds. They probably taste better than the cocktail of antibiotics and assorted other drugs I have recently been swallowing, not that I'll be consuming them. Not until they've grown up, that is. Modesty insists that I point out that the spoon is a teaspoon and it's not actually a spoonful; all I know is that I'm pleased to see so many of them.


I collected the unripe pods containing these seeds just before I started going down slow in November. They were the products of uncontrolled crosses between whichever plants were flowering at the time, including my RX09 series seedlings and their putative parents. Recognising the imminence of frost, if not my own illness, I hurriedly picked them in bunches and stored them in glass jars as described in my OCASional Update 3.

This method seems to hold promise as a way of securing the maximum number of seeds, assuming that premature harvest doesn't have negative effects on their viability and subsequent germination. There's only one way to find out. Nurse, fetch me my propagator.

11 comments:

Madeline McKeever said...

Good luck with the germination.

Patrick said...

I guess those were some pretty hard won seeds! I'm getting excited thinking about what will grow if even 10% germinate.

Rhizowen said...

Thanks to both Madeline and Patrick for your supportive comments.

I think it shows that oca breeding by amateurs is a very real possibility and I encourage everyone to get out there and have a go. When I'm fully recovered and can get myself organised, I can foresee a network of European oca breeders emerging. Want in?

Madeline McKeever said...

My oca is frozen into the ground along with my yacon, we don't usually get frost here. if it survives i will definitely join.

Patrick said...

I don't know that I have the space, not to mention patience, for seed production. When the time comes you have enough seed to share, I'd be happy to do some planting out.

Rhizowen said...

Hi Patrick

That is a sentiment with which I heartily concur, but somehow I don't seem to be able to stop myself. I was hoping I'd be able to distribute some tubers of my seedlings this year, but I'm not sure any will have survived this weather unprotected in the ground. Time will tell. let's hope we have a nice mild spring and a pleasantly warm summer. One can but hope.....

Catofstripes said...

Well done. You do have the patience of a saint.

Get well soon, there's planting to do.

Rhizowen said...

Thanks Catofstripes for that flattering statement. I tend not to think of myself as saintly or patient, just a sufferer from a persistent horticultural monomania that manifests itself in (relatively) benign ways.

Mark said...

I hope you get a reasonable germination when they are eventually planted. Oca could be a decent crop I imagine when some British climate adapted varieties are created. Good Luck

Rhizowen said...

Hi Mark

Thanks for your comment.
I'm hoping that a bit of rigorous selection will lead to some shorter season varieties.

Anonymous said...

How do you do?
I'm Rafael Segui from Spain. I'm interesting in some of your plants. Could you send plants or seeds to Spain ? Thanks a lot for your answer. Dr. Segui
rafa_segui@telefonica.net

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